Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Recap-2008

Christmas 2008- now officially Christmas past. For Christmas futures, 2008 has taught me a thing or two.

Elf On A Shelf is a shitload of fun. I'm missing our little guy, and will have to think of new ways to bribe my kids to behave.

Shopping for your husband two months in advance does not necessarily guarantee you a smooth Christmas Eve. Witness this scene, that happened in our kitchen, around 1pm on the 24th:

Phone rings.
Me: Hello?
Husband: Hey there. (he sounds funny).
Me: You sound funny. 
Husband: Really? (his voice goes up an octave).
Me: What's up?
H: Ummm... I was wondering if you... maybe... wanted to wait and exchange gifts on Monday.
Me: ???
H: See, I was supposed to do your shopping this afternoon, but I just got called into an emergency case and will be in the OR all afternoon.
Me: ???

Remarkably, he scrubbed out of rearranging someone's innards to blitz through the shopping mall across from the hospital to dredge me up some really cool gifts. Sometimes last minute shopping pays off, but only if you don't let the other person know.

Santa kicked some ass with these ladybug night lights that create constellations on your bedroom ceiling. The requisite vet set and wedding dress made an appearance. Wii Music will distract my kids for oodles of time.

Aside from the birth of Jesus, the biggest Christmas miracle in our house was watching Annie stand next to her pile of presents, unopened. She said she'd rather wait until her sister finished opening hers.

The new Barefoot Contessa cookbook has a recipe for lobster corn chowder that may be the best thing I have ever eaten. Good thing we liked it because my dog pulled the ham off of the dining room table for his own little party. 

The party continued as we trekked to Granny's house for Christmas dinner. What happens when you cram 12 people, 3 labrador retrievers, one cocker spaniel and enough presents to max out a credit card in one room?

Bedlam. Sheer chaos. At one point, it was just a free-for-all of shredded wrapping paper. My 3 year old was seen opening up a gift, looking at the gift box and exclaiming "Ooh! Pretty box!" before moving on to the next gift. After it was done, there was a pile of presents that no one knew who they belonged to. The Christmas spirit was alive and well.

Spur of the moment movie going can lead to difficult questions. Wouldn't you think Marley and Me is a kids movie? I did. And then 20 minutes into the film, I suddenly am trying to distract my children with hand puppets while Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson have sex, talk about smoking pot, have a miscarriage and a dead dog. This went on for MORE THAN TWO HOURS. Oh deceptive marketing, you silly thing.

I hope everyone had a memory-making filled holiday with stolen hams, too many gifts and inappropriate films. And best wishes for a new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

Annie asked Santa for  her own Moffat's book. The library won't let us renew theirs anymore.She also wants a vet set so she can sedate George and prevent him from eating her shoes. Lucy asked Santa for a wedding dress. (?) This should make for an interesting Christmas morning.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's The Holiday Season

We are busy. I should say, Busy. Busy. Busy. We just said goodbye to houseguests, cleaned up the dishes from last night's dinner soiree- and are moving on to the next shindig. Today, it's raining, so we're baking. Baking. Baking. Baking. And I will do my best to not eat more than my share by chewing sugarless gum for most of the day. Right, we all know how that's going to go. 

Tonight, we have more friends for dinner. Tomorrow, we go to a family dinner party. Wednesday, we host my family for Christmas Eve. (menu still not selected, but I will not stress). Thursday, we go to my parents' house. Friday, we go to my brother's for a declared game day. Saturday, we hit my mother-in-law's and Sunday, we collapse. 

I have presents to wrap, cookies to bake, children to parent and a menu to plan. I have a dog that has suddenly undergone a personality transformation and in the last week has done more damage than he has in the last six months. He has eaten two couch pillows, my watchband, and numerous toys (someone gave Annie dreaded Bratz dolls for a birthday gift and "luckily", they were the first to go).  Happy Holidays everyone- I hope Santa brings you what you are asking for! (a black lab, perhaps?)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Vanity vs. Baking Insanity

I have a confession to make. I haven't really gotten into the whole holiday baking thing this year. Maybe it's because my favorite cookie exchange was too far away (last year I got schnokered on the egg nog and started telling really, really obnoxious stories about nudists on "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy").  Maybe it's because Matt and I have been fending off a vicious cycle of preschool viruses and I'm simply too tired to get into it.  But the most probable reason is that I have no willpower whatsoever over baked goods. They literally call to me at night, when everyone is sleeping and have their nasty, fatty way with me. I have worked really hard to lose a bit of weight this year, and I really, really don't want Santa to bring me a new pair of fat pants. 

The kids start their vacation tomorrow, and today- we purchased some (gasp!) colored sprinkles and supplies for fudge. Here's to hoping I can hold out like the good Orange County housewife that I am. Now if Santa would only bring me that boob job and botox.... (I'm kidding! I'm kidding!)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Spirit

It snowed near my parents' house today. It feels like the rain here will turn to ice any minute. We have the fire going, the tree lit, and a quiet, cozy house. I've got my husband on his way home, leftovers for dinner and a new Top Chef. Life is good.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Festivus!

Today was a challenging day. In my own self centered delusions, I am aware of humanity suffering. I know these times are tough. Jobs are shaky, or non-existent. Christmas is definitely being pared down. But today? Today was the kind of day that made me want to poke my eye ball out with an ice pick. Some nuggets of fun will remain private- but the little things? The little things that made my day worse than Kanye West's singing on this week's Saturday Night Live? Of course I'll share.

One kid didn't sleep. (I know, I know). We started off the morning with a torrential downpour- which, if you live in Southern California, you would think the world is coming to an end. We are so used to our temperate, beautiful days, that all hell breaks loose when it finally rains.  I had to host Lucy's holiday party at school, and it was my job to bring 24 jelly doughnuts that HAD to come from Krispy Kreme (don't ask). This meant I had to drive 15 minutes in the opposite direction, worsening an already annoying commute that makes my head want to explode on a good day. 

I had no gas. A certain someone, who shall remain nameless, but he likes to eat french dips- drove my car yesterday and left me with no gas. So, after wasting 20 minutes trying to convince my toolbox of a puppy that he wouldn't melt in the rain, rallying 2 kids into their raincoats and getting them in the car for a doughnut trek, I got to hit the local gas station and fill'er up with rain dropping into the small of my back.  

The party was good. Fun. Lucy said it was "interesting" to have me there. (Is that toddler code for "Mom? Please don't come to school anymore"?). I was in charge of the cookie decorating table, and after the kids left most of their cookies and moved on to the next activity, I started to throw the cookies away. A few moms ambushed me and started freaking out that I had thrown their stuff out. I started to tell them the story of the lovely stomach bug we had a few weeks ago, and how one little girl was bragging about how she threw up last night but surprise! Her mommy still sent her to school! and how I had witnessed kids smearing their boogers on other cookies, and coming back to the table after using the potty (conveniently stationed only 3 feet from the cookie table) and how one kid sneezed on four cookies at once. I think I lost them when I started doing my Linda Blair impersonation. Whatever. I hope they enjoyed their "treat." 

The day progressed into a series of bickerish conversations, that by bed time, had my entire family wishing they could put the other family members up for sale. Defeated. Irritable. Definitely cranky. Let's just hope I don't throw up too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

One Flew Over the Cuckoo Nest

We've been watching a lot of Christmas dvds, and unfortunately, spending a lot of time at the doctor. These two worlds came together this morning when Annie and Lucy asked if we could play hospital.

Obliging their whimsy, I laid down on Annie's bed and pretended to be sick. Annie came bustling in the room and said in her best Nurse Ratchet voice, "I am Nurse Frosty. Looks like you have a fever. Let me get the doctor on the phone and see what we can do, but you will be here for ten days."

In comes Lucy, wearing her favorite pink sparkly footie pajamas. "This is Doctor Rudolph," Annie continues. "He is going to check you out." 

Lucy starts hopping on one foot. "Are you dancing?" I asked.

"No. I'm doing this. (her hopping gets more vigorous). "This is what doctors do."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I once went to a parenting lecture where the reading specialist (we somehow got off topic) encouraged all of the parents in the room to NEVER talk about your sleeping routines. She said it's nobody's business, and you will just receive huge amounts of guilt for how your family sleeps, and it's really nobody's concern.

I'm going to break that rule. Our bed time routine has deteriorated into a ridiculous carnival of musical beds that is about to drive me insane. We used to be so structured, so militant, but that's all gone. Gone. Gone. 

Now, I tuck both girls in around 8ish. We read them a story, turn on the requisite Winnie the Pooh music, some Christmas night lights bought at Costco, and wait for the party to begin. Usually about halfway through TopChef/The Office/30Rock/The Real Housewives the party begins. The girls get up, they dance, they share books. They have a party. I morph into a Polish washwoman that has run out of Oxyclean and scream like a banshee. Last night, they fell asleep around 9:30. It is not unusual to find Lucy passed out on her floor, one leg over her threshhold, as if she's ready to party if you just give her a nudge.

This doesn't set a good stage for the rest of the night. Around 1am, Annie somehow makes it in our room. She climbs in between us, and it wouldn't be that big of a deal if she didn't turn into a UFC champion and kick the sh*& out of us all night long. Around 4am, Lucy wakes up, realizes she's in her own bed and not passed out on her floor, and starts screaming her head off. 

Last night, I finally hit the wall. I sat both kids down, told them that Mommy and Daddy were here for them if they needed us, but if a twelve hundred pound monster wasn't about to chomp their heads off, they better stay in their own beds. They nodded their heads furiously. To their credit, there was no party last night. No book sharing, no dancing. They each stayed in their own rooms, but one or the other would yell out every few minutes. This lasted for TWO hours. 

After a few hours, Annie tried to make the crawl into the UFC fighting ring. I quickly walked her back to her room, and laid down next to her. After fifteen minutes, I tried to make it out of there quietly. She freaked. She cried. She woke up her sister. But she stayed in her room. She's tired today, but I'm hoping tonight will go better.  It's a sad state of affairs when the dog gets the best night's sleep. And he's locked in a crate. Hmmmmmm..............

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Black Mood +Black Lab= Disaster

Today, I am in a bad mood. The kind of bad mood that settles over women in the midst of their 30's. The kind of mood that fills you with unnecessary anger, and makes you seethe on the inside for no good reason. The kind of anger that makes women slap cops for simply trying to give you a speeding ticket (Zsa Zsa, you crazy woman). The kind of anger I really thought was created for comedic purposes- not really thinking PMS was legitimate, or real.

I realize now that it is. After George was locked in Lucy's room by mistake, and figured out how to open her closet door and help himself to an all you can eat buffet of newly purchased shoes, I found a good outlet for my anger. And he's not coming inside anytime soon.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Go Big or Go Home

I've almost recovered from the Thanksgiving food extravaganza. I can put on weight by just walking by a bakery, much less being surrounded by home baked apple pies and sweet potatoes swimming in butter. I've battened down the hatches, and tried to be good, so I'm almost back to where I was pre-turkey day. 

And then my husband tells me he is taking me to Los Angeles to eat this for dinner tomorrow. Since we are probably the world's biggest Top Chef nerds on the planet, we'll have to stuff our faces full for fear of embarrassing ourselves. 

Please forgive me when I come home with my pants unbuttoned. 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Way To His Heart...

Hubby was feeling down today. No particular reason, just a slew of unrelated things that added together, made up for a pretty crummy day. The solution? French dips for dinner. Matt lurves french dips. I found the crustiest rolls. Sweated some onions in gobs of butter and kosher salt. Boiled up some au jus (doctored with a splash of red wine). Toasted the rolls with muenster cheese, piled on the roast beef, slather it with onions, and then covered the top in spicy, marinated peppers. Served it with additional au jus on the side.

He smiled after the first bite. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Today, I went dream shopping for a new couch. I collected fabric samples, talked to sales people, sat, sat and sat. Then, I came home, and my 3 year old peed on our family room couch. I think I'll hold off for a while longer. 

Bleak House

One of my favorite novels is Charles Dickens' Bleak House. (sorry, can't figure out how to underline that on my mac- but look Ma! I did get use out of that English degree!). I loved the paper chase of the English judiciary system- and thought all of my friends that wanted to be lawyers were nuts for diving into that stinkpile of contracts, attention to detail and haggling over nitpicky stuff. 

Well, my brief stint in PR makes me feel like I'm going to internet law school. The main gig I've been working on got completely scrapped because of some personnel changes. I kind of got an inkling that was going to happen when said person wouldn't return any of my emails, voicemails or smoke signals. 

Now, we're starting again- with new direction. That's all well and good as long as I remember that I'm still getting paid- no matter how many times I do the same thing over, and over, and over again.  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Decking The Halls

The tree is now up. After all of the company left, and we gorged on leftovers- Matt dragged the tree out of the garage. We have had this tree for nine years. Nine years ago, we bought our first house. We didn't have much furniture, or much money, really (what else has changed?) and I remember driving to Sears and convincing the night manager to sell us a floor sample of a seven and half foot Douglas fir for dirt cheap.

Every year, for the last six years- Matt and I think this tree is headed to the dump. It sheds more fake needles than it has on it, and some of the branches are beyond fluffing. All of the lights were stripped off last year, and we wind old fashioned white lights in between spare branches to compensate for its Charlie Brownishness.

My Mom taught me a nifty trick that enables this tree to live on. After you get the lights on, and before you do anything else- do yourself a favor and go buy a slew of cheaply colored glass balls. Hang them on the INSIDE of your tree- in the center. This adds depth to the whole shebang- kind of like a collagen injection for your Meg Ryan of a tannebaum. 

So, every year, after I string the lights on, and fill up the inside branches with balls, and drape the garland on, and then load it up with my cherished baubles- the tree doesn't look half bad. It looks pretty good, really. So, we give the tree a reprieve, dim the lights and go watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas" special. Because out of all of the Charlie Brown christmas trees in the world, ours is the Charlie Browniest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Feeling Grinchy

I love my family, I really, really do. But I also believe in 2 things:

1. There is an old Irish wives tale that goes something like this: After three days, fish and guests stink. Three days is about the limit I, and my guests can take before the very sound of everyone's breathing gets on everyone's nerves.

2. Family is God's way of reminding you that He has a sense of humor. Think about it. If you weren't related, would you really know these people? And would they know you?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pumpkin Pie, Anyone?

My father-in-law and his wife are in town for Thanksgiving. During dinner last night, my girls decided to tell their "stories." They have 2 stories they like to tell, because they think they are funny. Usually, a stranger cannot understand their renditions, because my girls laugh so hard when they tell them.  

The first story is when we were walking to the park this summer, and about halfway there, Lucy discovered she wasn't wearing underpants. The second story is when we were riding in the car and Britney Spears' new song came on. The girls first asked if it was a boy or a girl singing, and then asked if it was a boy or a girl frog that was singing. That's about the extent of their yarn spinning.

Until last night. After we heard the no-underpants tale FOUR times, Lucy piped up with something new. "I'm going to tell a story about poopie." she uttered, in her high pitched mouse-voice.

Matt and I looked at each other- wondering if the other one had heard this before.  Before we could tell her poopie stories don't go over well at the dinner table, she started speaking.

"Once, I was in the bathroom with my Daddy, and I told him his poopie smells like apples."

We are now changing the dessert menu for Thursday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

We Interrupt This Blog for a Product Endorsement

You guys have to check this out:

Way back when, before I had kids, or stretch marks or knew the entire schedule of Noggin verbatim- I worked in a magical land called New York City. I ate bagels, I rode the subway and I got to work as an assistant buyer for an amazing woman that designed Christmas trees from scratch. She would begin her story boards in January- and anything could inspire her. I remember one year when a photograph of Nicole Kidman's beaded Indian dress for the Oscars inspired a whole line of tree skirts. 

I learned a lot. About Christmas ornaments (Italian ones are my favorite- from an old family outside Florence-). I learned the proper way to decorate a tree (garland first, then ornaments- put large ornaments on the bottom, smaller ones on top). But I also learned how to work- hard. But even though the work was tough- we had fun

Melissa is an artist- through and through. She has an amazing sense of color and design, and her Christmas tree shop was, without a doubt, the best in the city. It was always fun to go to vendor showrooms, and watch her negotiate exclusive designs, or special events. Our ornaments would arrive in the summer- and unpacking the sample boxes was like reliving Christmas morning, again and again.

Anywhoo- Melissa has now struck out on her own. She's created an exclusive line of ornaments that, sadly, are hard to come by these days. (Don't be fooled by glass ornaments made in China. The paint is tinny, and shapes pedestrian). She celebrates the workmanship of European glass blowers- and creates special, unique works of art.

She also almost convinced me one of our vendors worked for the Mafia. But that's a story for another time.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Annie, yesterday you turned five. Five whole years have passed, since you joined our family with your chubby cheeks, and your know-it-all expression. As a baby, you looked like a 1930's kewpie doll- with perfectly formed little lips, big brown eyes- and cheeks that went on forever.

Now, you are sprouting up into a little girl- it is getting harder and harder to find the baby in you. In the past year, you have matured. Last year, we couldn't call you Annie. You were Peter Pan or Pooh Bear- but never, ever Annie. Now, you've settled into your skin and revel being just who you are. You love having your own room, and will sit in your rocking chair, blasting Winnie the Pooh music and read your books. Yes, you are reading. You got to bring your worn out copy of "Fat Cat That Sat On The Mat" and read it to your class yesterday. You loved sitting in the teacher's chair.

You love to set the table. You love to hug your puppy. You love to cook with me. Your favorite game is to pack a pretend suitcase, and sit on the stairs- pretending it is an airplane. You will sit at the kitchen table, and write lists, or draw pictures when I make dinner. You love to go to the library and check out books (your Moffat's book is almost overdue, by the way). You still love to watch Caillou, the occasional Max and Ruby- but your new favorite show is about a dog named Kipper. You ride your bike for hours, with George trotting next to you. 

You've become a real help with your sister. After you figured out you could get M&M's too, you were solely responsible for potty training Lucy last April. You learned to swim last spring- and look forward to starting up your lessons again soon. You started a new school, and quickly became the alpha-girl of the class. Sometimes I feel like I'm entering preschool with Elvis. 

You are much more sensitive now- surprisingly, much more emotional. I'm still trying to navigate this with you, and truthfully, we have a long way to go before the hormones kick in at twelve. 

Happy, happy birthday my girl. Five years feels like a nano-second, and truthfully, I can't remember what my life was like before you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Home Run

We are home. Our puppy is back with us. I feel a bit guilty--- not only did he get his boy parts snipped, but he was thrust in the middle of a natural disaster and evacuated to a seedy part of town (he spent the night in an animal shelter- I'm lucky he didn't come home with a veneral disease and a meth habit). 

The trip was awesome. The girls were really good on the plane. I will be happy if I never have to play another game of Uno for as long as I live, but whatever will keep them occupied. It was GREAT seeing all of our friends- but it was also surreal. It was slipping right back into our old life, and then I would have flashes where I would worry about my puppy, or wonder how things back here were going. It's confusing to still be in a state of transition where nowhere really feels like home yet. 

Madonna was incredible. Worth every penny we forked over for the tickets. We had dinner beforehand, and splurged on tapas and sangria- and then continued the party with wine and beer at the concert. Our seats were next to a large contingent of gays that flew in from Arkansas. We became good friends throughout the 4 hour event. (She started an hour and a half LATE, which would be annoying if you weren't tanked and ripping on everyone's fashion sense with a gay back up dancer from Arkansas that told me Raven Simone was a C&^%.) People did wear lace wedding outfits- complete with veils and lace hot pants. There was your quota of drag queens, lots of lace fingerless gloves, but sadly, no cone bras. 

As for the show- we had to keep reminding ourselves that she is really fifty. She wears these incredible lace up boots, with high, high heels- yet despite this she does squat jump after squat jump and the first half of the show was all up beat, dance-your-lace hotpants-off stuff that had my heart rate going gangbusters and I was just sitting in a chair, clapping my hands, burping up sangria. She is clearly pissed at her soon-to-be ex-husband, and working out her issues on stage as opposed to therapy. Lucky for us! 

I'm glad to be back, glad my dog is not burned to a cinder and ready to jump right into Annie's birthday (Thursday) and my father-in-law arriving (Friday). It's going to be a week.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


1. Kid is still sick.
2. Kids are, surprisingly, sleeping ok.
3. First car rental car company gave me was broken. I knew it.
4. But the worst, by far- is that there is a wild fire going on right next to where we live. We have opened our empty home to family members that needed to evacuate. Unfortunately, the animal hospital where our puppy is staying was too close to the fire, and no one could go pick him up. I got the call that he was evacuated at 2am- and now have no idea where he is. 

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And She's Off

We are off tomorrow- for 3 fun-filled days in Houston, visiting old friends. Because I'm me, and the universe is aware of this, I am fairly certain the following will happen:

1. A kidlet will get sick. Actually, this has already happened. Knowing this will happen, I proactively scheduled a doctor's appointment and got my daughter's bronchitis diagnosed, so we would we be well on our antiobiotic way, and not contagious. It will still be joyous to watch folks on the airplane try and hide their disgust when my daughter coughs up her lung on their honey roasted peanuts.

2. My kids will not sleep. I am actually, very nervous about this. We are staying with the gold medal Olympians of sleep. They nap, willingly, with CLOSED DOORS. My kids jump on couch cushions and say things like "Me No Need Sleep! Me Stay Awake All Hours!" We are going to be very popular house guests.

3. In preparation of the 3 day insomnia fest, I have rented a car to provide easy means for me to escape when my kids get crazy. Nothing means business faster than Mommy strapping you in your carseat for a torturous ride along one of Houston's Bayous. And I will sing "It's A Small World" for the ENTIRE ride. 

4. The car rental place will screw up. In some fashion or another, either I won't have a reservation, or the expensively rented "carseats" will really be vomitous stacks of playing cards that have been covered in cheap felt with "pretend" seat belts. I'm on to you, Budget Rent-A-Sleaze.

In other news, we dropped George off at the vet for the ol' "Snip Snip" to occur while we are away. (Yes, I am chickenshit enough to do this when I am boarding him- what of it?). We are having a micro-chip installed in his neck while he is sleeping, so that if he is ever lost they can drop him off at the closest DSW for his next snack.

The house is strange without the puppy here. We are reveling in the emptyness, and living dangerously by carelessly and recklessly leaving our shoes strewn about. We know how to live, people.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ladybug Ladybug Fly Away Home

We finally did it. We had a Pump It Up party yesterday. 26 kids from both of their classes joined Annie and Lucy for a joint birthday party. I heart joint birthday parties. After all of the work of getting them to agree on the same theme (ladybugs) it saved us a bunch of moola. 

I had a lot of fun with this year's cake. Yet again, I opted to use the Barefoot Contessa birthday cake recipe, but snagged Magnolia Bakery's buttercream frosting. It was a half sheet pan, frosted white. I used Oreo cookies as the center of sunflowers, and piped golden yellow petals around each of em'. Adding gummy leaves, and some green grass- I then piped red M&M's with chocolate frosting and glued them to the Oreos. Instant ladybugs! I'll post a picture once I get them downloaded.

After the party, when all I wanted to do was enter a sensory deprivation chamber, I had to schlep the kids up to school to register them for the next round of "enrichment" (i.e. expensive) after school stuff. Annie got the last spot in ballet, and Lucy is going to do a storytime dress-up, craft making thing. 

Today, we're meeting some grandparents after school to see the new Madagascar flick. I think I'll use the 90 minutes to catch up on some sleep.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


When one of the kids gets a stomach bug- this intense sense of dread overwhelms me. I'm constantly waiting for the next round of puking- watching like a hawk for signs of illness in any other family members. I lay there, when the house is sleeping, with one hand on a bucket and the other on a pile of towels, ready to go.
The other day, I started to feel bloated, but chalked that up to Halloween candy. At about 3am, I suddenly realized I was in for some good times. To give a bit of history, I'm the Linda Blair of stomach flus. When I puke, it sounds like demons are escaping my body- and no matter how hard I try, I can't quell the violent wretches that riot the house.

It really freaked my kids out. By 6:30am, I called my mother, and begged her to come get the kids. Annie had her fingers in her ears, and was in her rocking chair, crying. Lucy kept asking if she could come in the bathroom and see what was going on. My Mom got there by 9am, whisked the kids away, and left me to an eerily quiet house, with CNN on the television and a naughty puppy trying to get my attention by eating a round of shoes. 

I did nothing more than drift in and out of sleep, in between bouts of Excorcist impersonating- aging approximately 85 years in one afternoon. By the time Matt got out of 2 very big cases and headed home, he had started with the feverish chills. 3 down, one more person to go. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008


We were supposed to have a ridiculously busy day. Starting with a birthday party, a quick trip to Disneyland to visit with friends and ending the day with a block party with our neighbors- all of that is now on hold.

At about 11pm last night, Lucy got sick. Really, nasty, sick. Chalking it up to Halloween overindulgence, I cleaned her up and went back to watching the movie, "Orange County." Before they even make it up to Stanford, she was sick again. And again. And again. 

We are now snuggled on the couch, in front of a fire, watching Audrey Hepburn in "Funny Face." As sick as she is, Lucy still perked up during the color pink dancing scene. A ridiculously busy day has turned ridiculously cozy.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day of the Dead

I am dragging today. Just got back from a Halloween blow-out at my parents' house. Matt had to (sadly) work most of yesterday, so I took the kids up to see my folks. We did some trick-or-treating, and then went to their club for a Halloween party.

My parents have a group of friends that meet for dinner every Friday night. These guys are hilarious, and can party more than your average fraternity boy. But my girls put them to shame. They danced. They boogied. They did the cha-cha slide, the hokey pokey, some random toddler disco moves and refused to leave some poor woman-dressed up as Tigger alone. 

The best part? My Mom always gets up early and took Annie and George off for some fun while Lucy and I slept until 9:30. That has not happened in years. And it felt really, really good. We left for home this afternoon, just in time for my folks to rally before hosting 16 people for bridge. I realized this weekend that my parents' social life outruns mine by a lot. 

Friday, October 31, 2008

Puppy Love

We are still living in the depths of Puppypalooza here (lots of chewed shoes, stolen snacks and gnawed on power cords) but we are finally experiencing glimpses of moments where I think all will be well with the world again. 

George seriously loves my kids. I do not doubt this. He puts up with a lot. My Lucy constantly "snuggles" him, and throws herself down on his dog bed and lays on top of him while she sings him lullabies. (I have video of this that I will post once I sign an ASPCA waiver). Annie  grabs him by the neck, hugs him tighter than one would like, all the while yelling "Youuu are such a cute boy!" Despite this, he contorts himself into the silliest of wiggles when they come home from school. 

He props his paws on top of the tub and won't take his eyes off of them when they are bathing. I can't decide if he's pretending to be a lifeguard, or contemplating jumping on in. When they ride their bikes in the afternoon, he's right there beside them- running along side their wobbly training wheels, with his tongue lolling out of his mouth. 

He's only five months old, but is trying to assume the role of family caretaker. If Lucy is upstairs, and Annie is downstairs- the dog doesn't know where to go. He won't settle down until everyone is on the same floor. He just woke me up with a growl because he heard Lucy talking in her sleep upstairs. 

Puppy love- I'm starting to see what it's all about. Somebody remind me of this the next time he shits in my living room.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Big Day

I am birthday partied out. And we haven't even had her shindig yet. On Saturday, we invited all available family over for a "birthday dinner party." She got to pick the menu. Here is what was served:
selection of cheeses & parmesan crisps with grapes (appetizer)
fruit salad (blueberries, blackberries and strawberries)
Asian salad (lettuce, crispy Chinese noodles, mandarin oranges, green onions, cucumber and enough Paul Newman's Sesame Ginger dressing to take a bath in)
corn on the cob
a huge platter of Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets.

The grandparents haven't eaten Chick Fil A in forever, and watching them gorge themselves on the nuggets was like watching Bill Clinton interview interns. We had 9 people over for dinner,- and this group ate 110 chicken nuggets.  That is OVER 12 nuggets per piggish person.

For dessert, I attempted to make a pink lady cake from This was the strangest cake. Instead of creaming butter and sugar- you mix the dry ingredients and then add fruit puree and butter. It almost burned out the motor on my mixer. After all was said and done, I say "eh." But she liked it. It sure was pink.

Today, on her actual birthday- I got to sit in her class and watch them decorate her birthday cupcakes. She wore a crown with red glitter candles, and they invited her big sister to join them for snack (which was very nice and made Lucy feel special). After school, I changed her into her Sleeping Beauty halloween costume and walked her over to the school theatre to attend a fundraiser. They had a famous author (who writes popular girls books) to come, host a tea party and sign books. All the girls wore the fanciest of dresses. It was sugary sweet.

During the afternoon, she rode her new bike and dictated the menu for tonight's gourmet feast.
Hot Dogs.
Macaroni and cheese.

Matt almost fainted with joy when he saw the Kraft blue box on the counter. (Not something we eat very often- and we only have hot dogs on the 4th of July, so this was indulgent). 

We capped off the night with a serious round of Wii bowling, and Lucy told us she feels much bigger now that she's three. We smiled, because after this weekend, we're a bit bigger too.

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Almost Birthday Girl

My Lucy.
On Monday, you are turning three. Three years ago, I was baking Halloween cupcakes and waiting for my water to break. The time has gone by so fast! It seems like yesterday when you were eating at the "all you can eat boobie buffet" and nursing 24-7.  Now, you are tall, and so thin that I wonder how you got in this family! You are very, very Irish, and I see my grandmother in you every day. When you are angry with me, and furrow your brow- you are channeling Me-Ma. 

You are Irish with your storytelling skills. You are constantly making up stories, and love to show me an imaginary boo boo on your knee and tell me about the huge crab that took a bite out of your knee. (he lives in the backyard). Yesterday you were dressed up in your princess dress, sitting on the floor, telling me how you're going to a wedding and meeting your friend named Shampoo, and her sister Conditioner. We giggled about this the whole afternoon.

You are dramatic. When you don't get your way, you scream. A lot. At the top of your lungs. You are mostly easy going, mostly a good listener. But when the wind blows a certain way, you show your stubborness that is stronger, and more definite than anything I have every seen. No one, and I mean no one can change your mind. About what to wear. About when to go. About what to say. It's awe inspiring and scary at the same time. 

You are in a hurry to grow up. You constantly tell me you are turning "four" and it makes me think you want to skip over all of this three business. You had a big year. You kicked the diaper habit over spring break. You learned to ride a trike, and quickly moved on to your sister's bike. You moved. You got a dog. You got your own room that you got to pick out the paint colors for (pink stripes, of course). Your vocabulary has skyrocketed. 

But through it all, I still see glimpses of that delicious little baby I held three years ago. The other night, your Aunt Sheri snuck you an extra taste of frosting. You held the spoon in your hand, licked the frosting and with what can only be described as rapture- closed your eyes and savored every bite. 

You are still shy. You still won't answer when a stranger asks you what your name is. You have gone from being the ultimate Daddy's girl back to being my girl again. The other day, Annie grabbed my hand in the parking lot and you shooed her away and said "Hey! I was using the Mommy right now." 

You only wear dresses. You have no problem with showing the world your big girl pants when you dance. And you dance ALL the time. You love to play dress up and pretend you are going to parties. You have an impeccable fashion sense. You freely give me advice on what to wear, and are very critical of my choice in shoes. (You'll say, "Mommy! That's not a match!" And you know what? You're right). 

You can't wait to go back to Houston to see your friends. You love your dog, and he loves you. He hides under your bed every night, hoping I will forget about him and leave him to sleep in your room. It's funny, because you asked us to give you a small, white dog, and the other day you said "Mommy? Why did you get me a big, black dog when I asked you for a small, white dog?" This made us laugh.

Happy Birthday, my love. I hope three brings you the independence you crave, and I promise to patiently offer you more choices. (You can't eat dinner naked though- we have to draw the line somewhere). Your Daddy and I love you-----

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

From Looky Daddy

Now is the time to donate. Let your support be known.

Now is the time to donate. Let your support be known.

Bad Dog

Bad Dog. That's what I have now. Apparently, it's "normal" for a dog's hormones to surge right now, which causes him to regress and ignore a lot of his learned behavior. Let me tell you. It's not normal in my book to get up with the naughty pooch, feed him, let him out, encourage him to do his business and have him turn around and run into your living room to violate it in ways that Britney Spears would even cringe.

He spent most of Sunday humping his dog bed. Matt and I would nervously giggle as the girls would exclaim "Look! Goerge is playing choo choo train with his bed!"

Oh yes, my friend. The scissors are coming. The scissors ARE coming.

The other night, my friend was over and we were assembling 1000 ladybug invitations. She asked me to change it to a cable music station, and remembering her tastes from college, I picked the one with the 80's hair bands. We're cutting away, when suddenly we hear growls coming from under the table.

"What's the matter buddy?" I ask the seemingly sleeping dog under the table.

"He must be dreaming." my friend adds.

He wasn't dreaming. Ten minutes later after a chorus of growls, bared teeth and raised haunches, we figured out George was watching the pictures of the hair bands on the tv, and is not a fan of tight leather pants or men using hair spray.

Sigh. I hope I can survive until his next vet appointment.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fairy Tales

Reconnecting with old friends has been one of the best parts of moving back to California. Last night, I solicited the help of an old college buddy to help me assemble 10,000 ladybug birthday invitations for my girls' upcoming shindig. I went to college with this buddy, and in most ways she hasn't changed.

We met in a Scandinavian Literature class at UCLA- and after studying together for a couple of afternoons, we were walking through campus together.

"You're a bit of a princess, aren't you?" I asked her.

"Excuse me?" she says, shooting me a dirty look.

"Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm one too!" I say.

"Oh, great!" she gushes. "I'm the biggest princess you'll ever meet."

And with that, our friendship began. This said friend, I should really mention, is drop dead gorgeous. She's six feet tall, her mother is from Norway, and whenever we went to Strattons (local UCLA bar) and I was low on cash and sadly in need of a drink, I would ask my friend to casually do a "bar lap" and walk around until someone sent her a drink. (which she then graciously passed to me). I never went thirsty for longer than 3 minutes.

Last night, my girlfriend came over, and my girls fought over who got to sit next to her at dinner. We giggled about how different our lives are, but how much fun we can still have together. She has a very high profile job- and was constructing a ten million dollar deal before she came over to our house. I was cleaning up dog pee. She carries an uber expensive designer handbag, and everything is perfectly organized. I carry a backpack that is crammed full of coupons, doctor receipts, miscellaneous toys and maybe a stray penny or two.

It's a cool friendship, because we get to live vicariously through one another. I get to hear all about her getting picked up on by a professional football player on a flight from Phoenix. She gets to help put my daughters to bed and hear what they are thankful for. And 14 years after that fateful Scandinavian Lit class, we are still princesses- with very different outcomes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Comfy Cozy

The end of a very quiet weekend. With Annie being sick, we all laid low for the last couple of days. Since the weather has grown chilly (an icy 65 degrees, but we'll take it)- we baked pumpkin bread, drank cocoa and figured out how to use our gas fireplace. (I cranked the gas, lit a match, almost lost my eyebrows and got to hear Lucy squeal "Magical!").

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I Now Pronounce You Freaky and Disturbing

We hit Disney again this week. The girls didn't have school on Thursday, and it was the day before Annie came down with pneummonia (seriously!)- so we spent six hours with Mickey. I love how excited my kids get- but there is something really creepy and sinister that always befuddles me.

Disney newlyweds. Have you seen them? Newly married brides and grooms- wearing bridal Mickey Mouse ears and usually severely overweight and in dire need of lasik eye surgery. They can usually be found standing on the huge lines to meet various Disney characters. Clutching their autograph books, they shove the little kids aside and take their picture with a guy dressed up like Winnie the Pooh that you know is dying a little on the inside. When I took the anklebiters to Ariel's Grotto for some lunch, the newlyweds in attendance completely upstaged the princesses with their freaky gasps of wonder. It really, really scares me. Their enthusiasm and eagerness to fill their autograph books with meaningless signatures is akin to seeing a 42 year old man walk around in diapers. Highly inappropriate and disturbing.

We are home now, safe from the Disney freaks and going to call it a quiet weekend filled with breathing treatments and antibiotics.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nasty George

Aack. Almost a week has gone by. Not much to report. George decided to eat Matt's only pair of glasses on Sunday, and culminated his Naughty-palooza by devouring most of a poopie diaper for breakfast this morning. Luckily for him, he knows how to work his baby brown puppy eyes as he is still a member of our family. Do not accept any kisses from him for a while. Don't say I didn't warn you.

I had my first play date yesterday- in tony Newport Beach, at a house that must cost over $5 million. Lovely family, but just not my style. I know it will take time to hit my groove, but I wish it would get a move on.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Down In The Dumps

So, what did y'all think about the debate? I was seriously hoping for some Alaskan train wreck, and was disappointed. Hats off to the die hard Republican debate coach that made Little Miss Sunshine camera ready. She was gung ho with her answers, whether they asked the question or not. "Let's get back to energy..." Whatever. I promised no more politics.

In other news, we're hosting our first shindig tomorrow at the new digs. My family is all coming to town and we're having a small party for my sister-in-law's birthday. Matt's gonna do the cooking, so let's hope he stays sober enough to make it entirely through the dinner this time. (Last dinner party didn't fare so well).

Lucy's going to have her tonsils and adnoids taken out- hopefully before Christmas. "Look Mommy! Santa brought me a Krups ice cream machine! I can use it morning, noon and night!" She's doing much better, and so am I now that I don't have to look at the mucousy pus coming out of her ear. Who knew being a Mom was such absolutely disgusting work? We haven't washed her hair in a week, and I look like I'm hanging out with a greasy street urchin that likes to eat Cheetos for breakfast and calls ketchup a vegetable.

And finally, after I picked Annie up from school today, I asked her why she looked a little down. Apparently, I said "down in the dumps" because she thought this was the funniest thing she had ever heard, and said George liked to be "down in the dumps" all the time. Yes indeedy, he sure does.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Drum Roll

Friday afternoon: Lucy starts complaining about ear pain, and I start giving her topical antibiotic drops we keep on hand for just-in-case situations.

Saturday afternoon: Lucy starts oozing strange things out of her ear. I start biting my nails, wondering if we could make it to Monday when the pediatrician opens.

Sunday morning: At about 2:30am, Lucy starts screaming and turns into a crazy person. No amount of Motrin or snuggles can calm her down, and I wake up Matt. He takes one look at her, looks at me, and says "She's got to go to the ER."

Sunday 4am: I try to convince Lucy she can leave the house in her nightgown. She's not having it.

"I must get dressed Mommy." she says. "I must wear a dress."
20 minutes later, she's in her Lilly Pulitizer dress (Costco, people!), with her sandals ( because Crocs wouldn't match). She did agree to not have her hair done, which is when I knew she wasn't feeling well.

The night staff at Matt's hospital were overjoyed to see her little highness, and she charmed the pants off all of the scrub nurses until they decided to irrigate her ears with warm saline. It took two of us to hold her Lilly Pulitizer self down.

Two hours later, they tell us she perforated her ear drum. (Ouch!) She's on some pretty strong antibiotics, and now we're headed back to the Ear Nose and Throat surgeon. Good times. Good, good times.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sliding Doors

Did you guys ever see that Gywneth Paltrow movie where she jumps between 2 different versions of the same life? In one, she has long hair and is mousy and shy, and the other Gwyneth sports a sassy short haircut and has bigger cajones? I was thinking about this yesterday when playing with George.

At the fundraising auction when we got him, I was bidding against this other guy across the room. He was well over six feet, in excellent shape- and looked exactly like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. He was related to the people hosting the auction, and had met George the night before and had fallen in love.

After I got my hands on the puppy, he came up to talk to me and I apologized for outbidding him. That's when he told me what George's life would have been like. He was going to call the dog Primo- and turn him into a hunting dog. I have visions of George, cavorting through marshlands with a duck in his mouth, and sleeping in front of a fireplace while he chews on somebody's wellies.

Instead, he lays down on the ground while my 2 year old feeds him kibble out of her hand. She holds the water bowl up to his face so he does not have to be bothered with bending down. He has a little stuffed duck we bought him at Costco that he trots around with- the closest thing he will ever see to hunting in this household. He poops on our patio, directly on the shuffleboard deck the previous owners painted there for some weekend fun. He's scared of grass, which makes me wonder how successful Primo the hunter would have been.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Am Happy

Just finalized arrangements to go back to Houston for a brief stint this fall. Plan? See our long lost friends, shop till we drop at the annual Nutcracker and go see Madonna! I'm sure I will manage to sneak in a cocktail or two.....

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happiest Place on Earth

Political rant over. Back to talk about poopie and cute kid musings.

I got a bit fed up with all of my puppy, unpack house and work duties and decided to play hooky on Tuesday. Annie got a free pass to try out an extra activity (because they ABANDONED her from her regularly scheduled class- but don't get me started) so Lucy and I were left with much of a whole day to ourselves.

After we dropped Annie off at her class and left a homing device in her Ladybug lunchbox should they lose her again, I stopped Lucy in the hallway of school.

"Hey! Want to know where we're going today?" I ask my two year old who usually doesn't like "Mommy/Lucy" days and misses her sister more than Lance Armstrong misses his non-soccer ball.

"Starbucks?" she asks, in a resigned tone.

Nope. 30 minutes later we were entering the Magic Kingdom- for a half day of stolen Mickey pleasure that felt naughty and exhilerating at the same time. We scooted over to the new Finding Nemo ride- and I figured if the line wait was less than an hour we were in. 45 minutes later we boarded our yellow submarine, and all I have to say is "eh." It was ok.

We did Dumbo. We did the carousel. We hugged Goofy and talked puppy shop talk with Pluto. (He did not poop in front of us, thank God). We oogled over princess dresses. We had a lovely lunch together. My eyes kept watering- cherishing this special time with my little one and feeling guilty that the rest of the family wasn't with us.

"Lucy? I'm so glad I get to spend the day with you." I said, as I squeezed her hand outside Cinderella's castle.

"I'm so glad I get to spend time with the princesses." she replies.

She definitely knows her priorities.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Warning! Post About Sex & Politics Below!

Thank you Theresa for sending this my way.....

Dear Friends:

We may have thought we wanted a woman on a national political ticket, but the joke has really been on us, hasn't it? Are you as sick in your stomach as I am at the thought of Sarah Palin as Vice President of the United States?

Since Palin gave her speech accepting the Republican nomination for the Vice Presidency, Barack Obama's campaign has raised over $10 million dollars. Some of you may already be supporting the Obama campaign financially; others of you may still be recovering from the primaries. So, if you feel you can't support the Obama campaign financially, may I suggest the following fiendishly brilliant alternative?

Make a $5 minimum donation to Planned Parenthood. In Sarah Palin's name. A Planned Parenthood donation is tax deductible, while a political donation isn't.
And here's the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her name, they'll send her a card telling her that the donation has been made in her honor.

Here's the link to the Planned Parenthood website

You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send the 'in Sarah Palin's honor' card. Use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters:

McCain for President/Sarah Palin
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington , VA 22202

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Taco Mesa

There is this shack of a Mexican place in Newport Beach that serves up the best food you can imagine. We were introduced to this place in college- when Matt and I came to UC Irvine to visit a couple of high school friends that were going to school there. (One guy lived in a college sponsored trailer park of sorts- kind of like bohemian college living that had been overtaken by wild, fluffy rabbits). We've gone back to this place countless times. I've sat at a table outside, (always freezing, nevermind what time of year) and contemplated graduating from college, having them cater my wedding, eating one last meal before moving to New York, celebrating the end of Annie's first day at Disney. When I lived in Los Angeles, we would get a craving for this place and hightail it on the freeway at 10:00 at night. It's that good.

Now, we live 20 minutes away. We went there for dinner last night- and as always, I ordered some vegetarian nachos with cojita cheese and asked for some blackened shrimp to be thrown on top. I still forget to bring a sweater, and now I forget to bring one for my girls too. I always wonder if I'm sitting in the same exact chair as that girl from college did so many years ago. She'd be the one eating the nachos with shrimp.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh Poop.

The other night we were watching the sunset, and Annie says, "Hey! Look! God is painting the sky orange!" I say this not to make you puke, but because it was just so sincere, and I want to remember it.

I do not want to remember this puppy continually taking poops on my living room floor. He shits about half his body weight daily. All of the puppy training advice is all "ignore the bad things, just reward the good." I find it hard to stop seizing in displeasure when he leaves his presents in the midst of my unfurnished bowling alley of a living room. But then, ten minutes later, he's stealing someone's shoes to chew on, and trotting around with his ears perched and waving his tail, and you are suckered in by his contagious cuteness. Puppies do that to you.

The house still doesn't feel like home yet. We've got all of the boxes emptied (for the most part) but nothing's where it should go, and nothing is hung on the walls, and furniture is in undecided places. Usually I jump in and get down to business- but maybe it's the poopie living rooms, or my daily commute on 3 freeways, or starting a new job, or missing my Houston friends- but I'm slow to the get-go with this one. It's a bit overwhelming.

I'm currently reading "An American Wife" and wondering if Laura Bush has read it? How weird to have a book inspired by you. I already like it much more then "Prep." Still not really cooking. I made chicken fajitas tonight, and you would have thought my family was eating lobster. Poor deprived souls.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Face It

Recently, I joined the whole Facebook thing. Exactly nine minutes after signing up, I was contacted by a large group of people I went to high school with that I have not talked to for years. A few days after that, I heard from folks from my very first job after college. This week, a girl I knew from drama stuff when I lived in Hawaii found me. Facebook is like a virtual reunion tour.

I think it's cool and all- but there are days where I forget to check it. My husband, however, does not. He thinks Facebook is cheesy, and would never be caught dead with having his picture posted and updating his whereabouts. However, this does not stop him from using my log on and checking people out all the live long day.

Moving update: we're down to the last 20 boxes or so, and are pretty sure some stuff is missing. Like one of the cushions for our couch. Two patio chair cushions. Two Persian rugs. Two lamps. One sportscoat and half of our drinking glasses. Oh yeah- someone made off with our train table too. Somewhere there is a Thomas the Train fan sitting on one couch cushion, drinking out of Target-ware and wearing a Brooks Brothers jacket. Weird shit, I tell you.

In other news: went to yet another fundraising gala last night. (Did NOT come home with puppy). I feel like such a poser at these things- and marvel at how well put together most of the women are. As for me, I was in my dress, cleaning up dog poop and pee off our living room floor minutes before leaving. I didn't have time to change out my purse, and felt like a Class A dork as I trudged along, hiding my crocodile backpack. I did manage to get stinky drunk on Tommy Bahama rum and umpteen glasses of wine. Nothing says good times more than puking up fois gras at 4:30am. And yes! I did see my first Real Housewife of Orange County! It was a moment, I tell you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Just want to offer this up to the cyberspace that any of my old pals, should they be stuck on an expressway somewhere- that I'm only 23 hours away, and have plenty of space (ahem! I'll move some boxes!) and a dog that hopefully won't pee on your bed. Seriously!

We could while away the hurricane at Disneyland. I'm just saying.

I unpack, therefore I am.

I am here. I am currently stealing wireless internet from my new, friendly neighbors. I am living my life on freeways, commuting to a preschool that I'm not sure I really like. I am working. I am cleaning up oodles of dog poop. I am living out of boxes. I am still looking for the box with our phone in it. I am not cooking. I am certainly not pretty. But I am here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


As typical for my life, I hired a painter today, and gave myself 3 hours to pick paint colors for our bedrooms. Luckily, I had a color we used a few years ago for our room- so that was one room down. Next up: I promised Lucy the ultimate of all Pinkalicious rooms. She's getting big fat awning stripes of 2 different pink colors. Do you know how hard it is to pick a good pink? It's scarily easy to make it look like a Barbie massacre, or Minnie Mouse vomit. Swallowing my amateur designer pride, I called in Lucy and asked her which pink she liked best. Of course, it's called Ballerina. So, one order of Ballerina with a bit of Fairy Dust in for good measure- coming right up tomorrow at 8am!

I just re-read this and realized that this is the most boring post ever. My apologies. My life is consumed with small details right now... like picking paint colors, forwarding mail, putting curses on moving trucks that think it's ok to deliver ONE FRICKIN day outside of their window, waiting for washing machines to be delivered. I almost started crying tears of joy when the cable guy called today and asked if it would be ok if he showed up 2 hours early. God bless him.

In other news, my kids are handling school like troopers. My little one completely freaked out in the parking lot our first day when she realized her best little friend in Houston wasn't going to be there. They've moved Annie around to try a couple of different classes, and through all of the change, it reminds me how resilient these guys are. Their bedtime routine is completely shot to hell, but they are hanging in there.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Sun Will Come Out?

This day drained me.

It started off with an early wake up call- George had to go outside.

After cleaning up his mess in the backyard, feeding him and packing up his crate and 1,000 items I have managed to buy this dog in the last week- I dropped him off at my little brother's for the week.

I miss him.

After that, I headed back to my folks' house, filled my van to the brim with suitcases and crap- and drove like a bat out of hell to Matt's aunt's house- an hour away.

Got the kids settled, did 2 hours of work and then did a conference call with an account where we scored a major deal that leaves me with more work than I can imagine.

Dumped kids in car and hoofed it over to our new house for a final walk through. Kids added to the joy by completely freaking out and scaring my kid-less realtor.

Drove back and changed my clothes to drive 45 minutes in rush hour to Back To School Night. Realized halfway through the drive that my breath smells like George's. Not good.

Attended Back to School night and tried not to freak out over not sending Annie to kindergarten this year.

Went out for quick bite to eat with hubby.

Wandered aisles of Whole Foods at 9:30pm to find random things to pack for lunchboxes.

Came home, try and convince my kids to sleep, do laundry, unpack and do one more bit of work. Figured out that this is the seventh time this summer we have unpacked our suitcases. That's seven strange beds and seven different locations where my kids refuse to sleep unless they are partially laying on top of me.

Wondered if my life would ever feel normal again. Not sure.


I'm packing our suitcases again today. I am so sick of packing suitcases, and loading cars, and convincing kids to sleep in strange beds. It almost makes me excited to unpack the thousands of boxes that will soon be arriving.

We've been crashing at my parents' house for the last five days. Matt stayed behind to work, and we have missed him. My folks have an easy house to stay in- lots of new exciting toys, sugar cereal and a pool in their backyard. They've been very kind about my George, and welcomed him with open arms. Unfortunately, school starts tomorrow, and my parents' house is just too far away.

Luckily, Matt's aunt said we could stay with her, so off we go- to another house to crash and make a mess of until our stuff arrives. The logistics of this whole thing is starting to wear- I spent most of my Labor Day weekend researching washers, dryers ad fridges- and can quote you Consumer Reports verbatim.

Gotta go pack the car. This is getting old... yes indeedy.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Puppy Haiku

So adorable
But your poop is quite nasty
Please stop eating it

Monday, August 25, 2008


I am alive. Barely. Mother-in-law coming home unexpectedly early (21DAYS!) and I am scrambling to empty house and make things presentable. Starting back at work adding to stress level- but yesterday, did the supremely stupid of all stupid things.

I got a puppy.

Matt and I "had" to attend a fundraiser for diabetes, and as part of the auction- they were auctioning off a live puppy. We kept making jokes about how tacky it was, until they held up the 12 week old black lab and both of us lost complete control of our brains. I kept getting outbid, and the auctioneer finally addressed Matt directly.

"Sir, is that woman standing next to you your wife?"

Matt, who absolutely hates being the center of attention to begin with, without thinking that he is surounded by his boss, and all of his new work- manages to weakly mumble a "yes".

"How much do you love your wife?" the auctioneer bellows to the hooting crowd.

Matt throws up his hands and starts bidding. The crowd goes wild. About as close to a rockstar moment as he is going to get.

This puppy is cute. He is little. (for now). He has to get up every 3 hours to go out in the yard. (Somehow, the irony that this endeavor makes me want to dip my genitals in sterilizing potion does not escape me).

We have named him George. He is curious, but also rather dumb- like a lame duck this country knows all too well and I am happy to forget.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Working Girl

Today was fun. I went back to work. A close family member owns a marketing company, and had a project they needed help with. Over a glass of wine, they casually asked me if I'd be interested in helping them, and I jumped all over it.

This morning, they called and asked if I could meet with the client today at 4. I didn't have a babysitter, wasn't sure I had the correct clothes, and couldn't find one of my shoes, but I did it anyway. And it worked! My family member graciously tracked down a sitter, and the meeting was a huge success.

Sitting at the country club, sipping my diet Coke and listening to this VP of Marketing describe his project, I started to get nervous. Really nervous. I've been out of this game for a while, and I wasn't sure I could slip back into this without looking like a total idiot. I started to doubt myself, and started to feel stupid. So I just kept making eye contact and listening to this guy talk about who he knew... and where he worked.... blah blah blah blah. I kept shaking my head yes and summarizing key points. Old party tricks to make people think you are interested.

And it worked! We got the gig. I'm now, officially part-time, back in the saddle. And surprisingly, it feels really, really good.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Today I experimented. While driving around, running errands, my anklebiters decided to stage a revolution in the backseat. Like their own little cast of Les Miserables, they kicked their seats, screamed and laughed at the top of their lungs, and did everything within their power to irritate me.

Usually this causes me to revert into my mother. I clench my teeth, use their full names and threaten various meaningless things while I struggle to pay attention to the road. Today, I tried something else.

I ignored them. The more they clamored for their negative attention, the quieter I got. They started whispering to each other.

"I think she's broken." Annie says.

"Nah," Lucy replies. " I think she just needs batteries."

"Hmmmm... "Annie continues. "Maybe she's sleeping?"

It took everything in my willpower to not laugh, but I drove the rest of the way in silence. Remarkably, they were quiet too. I wonder how much mileage I can get out of this one?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gotta Wii

I must confess. During Matt's weekend birthday extravaganza, we "happened" to be in Costco when they "unloaded" a new shipment of Wii's and we bit the birthday bullet and "brought" one home. (i.e Matt waited in the car with the kids while I was suposed to be buying a handsfree phone thingie and I picked this up too).

This thing kicks some serious ass.

Now, anytime we have a visitor, my kids bully them into bowling with them, so my 2 year old and 4 year old can wipe the kitchen floor with their Miis. It's getting kind of embarrassing. My 2 year old's virtual bowling is becoming so accurate, she barely even looks before tossing strike after strike.

I'm now jonesing for a Wii Fit and of course, my own Rock Band. Because if my family can rock it out like we can bowl? Lucy will be the new lead singer for Van Halen before she hits kindergarten.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Determining Value

So we're closing on our house September 4th. Finally. The escrow got a little kooky a week and a half ago. The appraiser went out to do his job, and then suddenly declared there was no way our house was worth what they were asking, and would only charge us half of his fee, but it wasn't worth finishing.

When our realtor called us with the news, we were flabbergasted. We've looked at 50 houses in person, and 1000 on line, and seriously? We were excited about our house. The seller was so pissed, he offered to pay for another appraisal, which took place the next day. After waiting through the weekend, that one came back in at full price.

Our lender then decides they want the first guy to finish his appraisal, so they can compare the two and get the real story. They call him back, inform him that they've got another appraisal in at full price, and that we are waiting to see what he comes up with. After TWO more days, he comes in a bit under, but not the staggering, drop everything and run number. And he used comps that were TWO years old, and incorrect measurements.

This guy caused a bunch of damage. Matt sulked for two days straight- I truly think he wasn't able to utter one word. The seller had to shell out $600 for another appraisal, and we had numerous agonizing decisions about walking away from the whole mess. The housing market here is pretty crazy, and my take is the appraisers are aggressively trying to undo their ridiculous pumped up values from 3 years ago.

So, the house will be ours. And I will not be inviting any appraisers to our moving in party.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Kind Of Town

I love this place. It's been the perfect get-away summer. We go to the beach, which is great. We take trolley rides (free!) down into the village. We hang out at a local cafe that features live jazz every Sunday. (Annie made them laugh when a late musician scurried in and she yelled "Hey Everyone! Look! The Bass is here!") We go to art festivals and watch the kids throw pottery (for $5!). But last night, we got our act together, packed a picnic dinner and took the kids to their favorite park to play. This park is awesome- lots of cool equipment to climb on, plenty of swings and a nice grassy hill to roll down.

Every Sunday, the park features live music. We've gone to these in different places, and I expected it to be a nice summer evening, kicking on a blanket- enjoying some tunes. When I got to the park- I noticed everyone had bottles of wine. Lots of bottles. Folks had picnics that looked like something Marie Antoinette would have wanted. A group of guys had a mini-table, decked out in a pastel madras tablecloth, and their centerpiece was a huge silver ice bucket filled with champagne. The people sitting next to us poached pears and stuffed them with creme fraiche. The other family made Vietnamese lettuce wraps.

When the music started, we noticed this old man at the front of the band stand. He's probably in his mid-70's, with a grey beard that hangs down his chest. He was wearing nothing but a bathing suit- and he was tan, and looked to be grisly, but in good shape. He was the first one to start dancing. He would do this jog-in-place, while shaking his head from side to side, grinning a big grin. The crowd would laugh, and point, and he would jog faster. By the second set, I was worried the guy was gonna have a heart attack.

As the wine flowed the the evening continued, there were more people dancing than sitting on their blankets. Annie and I mosied up to the dance floor, and we stood next to the beared crazy man and tried out our best jog-in-place dance. It was a great evening, it's been a great summer. I'm going to be sad to have to rejoin the real world.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Say Anything

Since her ear tubes were put in, my Lucy has become verbal. Very, very verbal. Aside from her occasional meowing, Lucy has a very direct way of expressing herself.

When we first arrived here in Cali, I had to hoptail it down to San Diego for a friend's baby shower. While I spent the day getting sloshed in champagne overlooking the Pacific, Matt took the anklebiters to the beach to walk around. Lucy expressed a desire to use the bathroom facilities, and in desperation, Matt took both girls into the public men's room at LaJolla shores.

After wrapping everything in multiple layers of tissue, Matt propped Lucy up to begin her show. He said she looked around, and then said in her charming, high pitched, two year old voice:


"Yes, Lucy." he replies.

"Daddy? This place is D-I-S-G-U-S-T-I-N-G."

"I know Lucy." Matt says as he starts to laugh.

"No Dad. This place is disgusting. And smelly. Really, really smelly."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Overheard at Lunch

I'm trying, unsuccessfully, to convince Matt to try for kidlet number three. During lunch at Islands today, I tried to solicit help from the anklebiters.

"Hey Annie! Would you like to have a little brother or another little sister?" I wheedled.

"Little sister." Annie mumbles through her Big Wave with cheese.

"Hey Lucy! How about you? Would you want a little brother or a little sister?"I ask.

"Meow." Lucy answers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Family Panic

My sister-in-law edits the news for a cable station in Los Angeles. During this week's quake, the station showed a live shot of the newsroom during the quake. You see the camera shaking, and then you see my sister-in-law, racing into the newsroom, with her hands over her face. She waves her hands for a bit, and then runs in between a doorway and into the newsroom. Everyone else around her isn't moving, or doing much of anything. It's pretty hilarious, and my mother-in-law saw this all the way in Canada and cannot stop laughing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let's Get Shakin

5.4 quake today. That's big, folks. Not that I should know, because me and the anklebiters were in my minivan, driving home from Trader Joes- probably belting out some Beach Boys. It's hard to feel an earthquake in a moving car. When we got home, Matt was pretty shaken- literally.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Happy Birthday!

I'm not making this stuff up. Seriously.

There is a cat missing in our neighborhood. I ran into the owner one morning, and we chatted about her missing "Bear". I promised to keep an eye out for him. The other night, Matt and I heard 2 cats kicking the patootie out of each other, and I phoned our neighbor to tell her it might be her Bear.

"Oh goodie." she says. "I just got back from a pet psychic and she assures me Bear has not crossed over yet. She said Bear has found a friend- a little white cat, and that I will find her soon."

In other news, we celebrated Matt's 37th birthday yesterday- complete with a day at the beach and a barbecue of steamed mussels (mupples), filets, asparagus and chocolate cake. Oh yeah, our dinner guest (who shall remain nameless, but knows I'm going to post this anonymously so it's not like I'm too heartless) also showed up with an unnamed veneral disease that Matt got to diagnose after dinner. Nothing says happy birthday more than some genital warts.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mupple Mass

I caught Annie and Lucy flexing their arms the other day.
"What are you guys doing?" I asked.
"We're showing off our mupples." Lucy replied.
This has now become my new favorite word.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barefoot & Broke

I'm currently missing a strategic article of clothing. We open escrow on our new house tomorrow. This whole thing was kismet- after looking at 40 houses in person and 100,000 on line- we finally found one that fits the bill. Matt and I literally stumbled upon an open house on Sunday, and our realtor still shakes his head as to how this came to be. The family selling the house originally intended on moving to a bigger home in the same neighborhood. They unfortunately lost out on that, but for some unexplicable reason, still want to sell their house to us- even though they have no where to go.

We celebrated by raiding my mother-in-law's liquor cabinet and snagging some Veuve Cliquot. Without our socks on.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Yesteday, I did something I've always wanted to do, but never actually got up the gumption to drop the cash and check it off my life's activity list. We went whale watching. My brothers were in town, and my little brother is awesome at rallying large groups of people to do various activities. Yesterday, we boarded a boat in search of blue whales.

I'm not a big boating fan. I went deep sea fishing in fourth grade, and for me, seasickness makes morning sickness feel like a walk in the park. I fully anticipated that yesterday's excursion would 1. Make me puke and 2. Cost me loads of money without ever seeing a whale.

I was wrong. A little Dramamine and an on-board Marine Biologist did the trick. It was an overcast day, so spotting the whales was a bit tougher than usual. (You look for spouting water out of their blowholes). After sailing 11 miles off the coast, we happened upon a blue whale.

The Marine Biologist mentioned she had seen this whale earlier in the day. She whipped out her cell phone, and using it as a timer, mentioned that this whale happened to surface almost every seven minutes. I love predictable marine life! Every seven minutes, for the next hour, we would scan the horizon, looking for tell tale blow holes. You'd see some water squirt five feet into the air, and a rounded grey (not blue!) hump of the whale's back breach the surface. He/she (hard to tell the gender unless you can get intimate with a blue whale, and since they are the largest mammal on earth and roughly 110 feet long, that can be kind of hard to do) would hang around, blowing up water every few minutes, until it decided to dive down into the 800 feet depths of ocean and eat more krill.

We always knew when it would take a deep dive because it would raise it's tail into the air- like my own personal "Free Willie" trailer or something.

It was really cool. Really, really cool. However, no matter how cool it was, it still freaked me out that I had my 2 kids, both under the age of five and not strong swimmers, on a boat in the ocean 11 miles offshore, without life jackets on. (They only put them on in case of an emergency). Not to mention that we were stalking the largest mammal on Earth- and this whale was almost 2xs as long as the boat we were on. The biologist did make the mistake of telling me how trippy it is when you can feel the whale moving underneath the boat. I clutched their little hands for the entire trip- as did my husband until he finally caved in to his non-Dramamine experience and crashed on a bench in a fit of nausea.

Now that I think of it- it may not have been the seasickness that felled my hubby. I was the only one on board to ask the biologist if she "spoke" whale, and then did my best Dory impersonation from "Finding Nemo". Luckily, she told me that it's virtually impossible for our sound to penetrate the water and have the whale hear it. She knows this because some goofy, California new age harpist hired her to take him out on a cruise so he could play his harp for the whales. She kept telling him that they would have a hard time appreciating his music. So, for those keeping track with my goofy California references?

1. Grocery store checker goes into great detail about the moon driving menstruation calendars.
2. I am bidding on a house tomorrow that was founded by nudists.
3. There is a local harpist that composes music specifically for an audience of whales.

I knew I loved it here.

Careful Where You Sit

Today we found a house. It's older, just like we like em', but has been updated considerably. I think the funniest part is that it is in a small, gated community that used to be nudist's colony. Aside from my 4 year old who loves to be naked, this strikes the rest of my family as funny stuff and also makes us wary of using the pool facilities anytime soon. (But you already knew about my pool phobias, didn't you?) I'm joking. The neighborhood was founded by 4 nudists, unfortunately their grand master naked plan never took off.

We are going to put a bid on it tomorrow if it didn't sell today. We will celebrate by removing strategic articles of clothing.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Girl Talk

Today we got some great news- the board met at Matt's new place of employment and has elected to put him on the tenure track. This is huge for us, mostly because now it means that we are really and truly staying in California. Without telling our family, we put our stuff in storage in Houston, mostly because if this didn't come through- we were gonna hit the road again. Whew! What a relief!

It's funny being back here. I only left 2 years ago- but it feels like ages. Friends are now getting divorced, home remodels are complete (and gorgeous!), folks are having babies. It's crazy. I love the vibe of California, and forgot how kooky it is. Tonight, I popped into the local grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends, and the checker commented on my box of Tampax.

"Lots of folks are coming in here tonight for these." she states.

"Ummmhmmm." I nod my head, not wondering where this is gonna go.

"Because it's so close to the full moon, and the moon dictates your cycle- we've had all sorts of women in here tonight." she adds.

Let's just say that I never had that kind of conversation at my Houston Walgreens. No ma'am, they don't do much moon-menstruation-talk there. Not at all.

In other news, my big brother is here visiting, and Matt was showing off his new I-phone. His new Iphone can turn into a Star Wars light saber, and my husband is PROUD of this. This is wrong on so many different levels.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Apple Turnover

We know how to relax on vacation. Instead of walking down the street, down a flight of stairs and parking ourselves in beach chairs- we decided to embark to South Coast Plaza, the mega of all malls, on the day Apple released their new G3 Iphone. We had some required shopping to do anyway, and decided it would be fun to check out the hoopla at the Apple store.

With Coffee Bean lattes in hand, we strolled over and giggled at the throng of people that had lined up at 3:30 in the morning. A lowly Apple employee was passing out bottles of Smart Water, and told us that the line was only 2.5 hours long. Matt laughed and started to walk away, but my competitive spirit kicked in and I ran to the back of the line.

"What are you doing?" my husband asked.

"Look, would you rather go shopping with me, or wait here in hopes you may actually get a new phone?" I asked. (feeling guilty that the reason he needed a new phone was because I accidentally dropped his on the tiled kitchen floor).

So we waved goodbye to Matt, and headed off to shop. And shop. And shop. And eat lunch. And walk around. And walk around some more. The line took FIVE HOURS to get through, and Matt would die if he knew I was telling you this because he's ashamed he had that much time to burn.

The whole thing was pretty interesting. People showed up in their Empire Strikes Back t-shirts- and everyone was very chatty. Matt stood in front of a lighting designer for a local theatre, and a computer programmer- both friends that had taken the day off work for this glorious event. One guy was savvy, and sold his spot in line about halfway through for $50.

Once Matt made it into the store, I dragged the kids along- we wanted to see what all the ruckus was about. Because of fire laws- there was an army of Apple employees manning the door, and they personally escorted you in when your time came up. We saw one young girl exclaim that she had to use the ladies room- and a chagrined Apple guy had to personally walk her through the mall and wait outside to make sure she could get back in. Crazy.

While Matt was haggling through all of the options, I played Dora and Ratatouille on the kids computers- while giggling at the crowd. There seemed to be an inordinate amount of young 20 year old guys, with ratty t-shirts and converse sneakers. They kept calling their friends on their new phones, and I heard more than one say:

"Dude, guess where I am right now? In the fucking Apple Store, man. G3 is awesome."

Sigh. It almost made me wish for my stuff to come out of storage so I could rejoin the land of responsibility.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dazed, Not Confused

So sorry for the delay in posting. I've entered the neverland of moving-turning-into-vacation. With our stuff in storage, our house sold, and just a month or two to wait for Matt to start his job- we are finally relaxing. Matt's Mom hightails it out of town during the summer and we are the fortunate souls that get to crash here and bring in her mail.

At the bottom of her street is a great family beach. We've been going daily. We trot the kids down the steps, park our asses in our beach chairs and watch them put huge quantities of sand in every part of their little bodies. (up the nose, people!) My poor mother-in-law's house is getting such a workout- it will soon look like I felt my last few days in Houston.

When we arrived, we were all pretty tired. Moving itself is exhausting- but couple that with a terribly long roadtrip and then a terribly fun, but tiring stay at my brother's for the 4th and you have one pooped family. Matt literally slept for the first 3 days we were here. He is just starting to return to the land of living, and I think I saw a glimmer of color enter his cheeks on the beach today.

The kids are handling the change pretty well. They did ask where we were going for playgroup tomorrow, and I tried to explain it to them. They continually ask to see the same Max and Ruby episode over and over and over again- and I tried to explain to my husband that this makes them feel secure- not sure if he believed me or not. We tour their new school next week, so that should be interesting.

We are so in love with the town we are in, we have tried our hardest to find a house we could afford here. We thought we found one- a new craftsman, built in 2003- and located in the canyon-within walking distance to the quaint village filled with shops and such. I quickly sent it to my realtor, who happens to live around the corner from my mother-in-law. He was driving by later in the day, and popped out of his car to say hello. I enthusiastically asked him about the listing . He replies:

"Are you planning on teaching Annie and Lucy to roll joints?"

I guess that's the "artistic" section of town. Damn.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Not On The Road Again

The roadtrip is done. At long last! I wrapped a bunch of small presents, and thought I had timed it to deliver them out to the anklebiters every hour and a half or so, to help break up the time. 15 minutes into the trip, my 2 year old had the ultimate freak out and my well prepared treasure chest was almost empty.

Highlights of the trip?

The Liberty Bar in San Antonio. As opposed to eating nonstop Sonic and Mickey D's, we splurged on a delicious dinner at this falling down house in a random part of town. I had a roasted hazelnut salad with fresh parm and a slice of lime buttermilk pie for dessert.

Leapsters. Keep kids occupied for long periods of time. Thank you Leapfrog. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Big brothers that can cook. Tom made a stuffed flank steak & a grilled shrimp orzo salad.

Portable DVD players. As my kids were transfixed by "Finding Nemo"- Matt and I had this conversation:

Matt: Did you ever realize Nemo is actually in very little of this movie?

Me: Wow. You're right. It's just like "Saving Private Ryan." But with fish.

Matt: I wonder if that was on purpose. Do you want Sonic or McDonalds for lunch?

And scene!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Moving Haiku

Movers did show up.
We are in fancy hotel.
Annie threw up once.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Hey Oprah! You were right! Remember your show on "The Secret"? Well, it works. At least for me. But not the way I want it too. Remember last week when I told you I kept calling our movers to confirm our packing and moving dates because, as I told the customer service woman "my worst fear is to not have anyone show up"? Next time I will spend my time calling Publishers Clearing House and asking when my check will be ready.

This morning, I had 2 dozen doughnuts on the kitchen counter, a car packed with suitcases, and anklebiters that had been up since 5am. We were ready to go. At 8:15am, I called our salesguy from the moving company to ask when they would be here. At 8:45am, I still hadn't heard, so called the customer service rep. She sounded nervous, and said she would call me back.

I suddenly had a very, very bad feeling.

Sure enough, they screwed up the scheduling. There was no one available to pack us today. They kept trying to tell me it was no big deal to push everything by a day, but our lease ends on Friday. I kept telling them "you are putting the burden of your mistake on me. You need to figure it out." They stopped returning my calls. So, I tracked down their General Manager, and left him a message on his cell phone.

They are going to pack us AND load the truck tomorrow. This means I will have an army of Mayflower soldiers in my house at 8am, until midnight. I am so not looking forward to tomorrow, but another side of me is happy I get one more night in my own bed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Moving Right Along

Movers come tomorrow.
Must write in fragments because house is a jumbled mess.
Been up since dawn.
Bags almost packed.
Piggy banks emptied.
Fridge is clean.
Pantry is too.
Almost killed hubby last night.
He (finally!) cleaned his closet night before big move.
Been begging him to do this for months.
Can't find one Leapster game.
This is driving me crazy.
I think Texas Treeroach stole it.
If you see roach playing Leapster Nemo game, give me a holler.
Best friend from California called me this afternoon.
With bad news.
She's moving to North Carolina.
This stinks.
My sister-in-law texted me this morning.
With very, very good news.
My little brother left Iraq and now is in Germany.

This puts everything into perspective.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lost and Found

Matt bought us a GPS system today for our upcoming roadtrip across the country. We went to Best Buy, and I wasn't even noticing what was going on around me, but Matt clued in that the woman next to him was having the clerk run a price match on a system that was on sale at Circuit City. Best Buy was out of the system, but it was such a good deal that before we left the store, Matt found the closest Circuit City on his Iphone and reserved us one of the last GPS'. It saved us $100!

GPS is cool. We had fun deciding which "person" would give us directions. I wanted the British chick, but apparently, only Americans can give you warnings and traffic and such. We took the kids out for frozen yogurt after dinner, and purposefully went the wrong way more than a few times, in vain hope that we could piss off the GPS system and get "Jane" to sound a little exasperated. Didn't work.

The packers arrive in two days. TWO DAYS people. I have so much frickin' work to do before then, and Matt is getting killed at work. It's going to be a stressful week. Want to know what my biggest fear is? That a Texas Treeroach is going to hibernate in one of my moving boxes and hatch gazillions of babies to surprise me with when I open the box.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Last night: At swanky hot spot with great friends for much needed girls night out. Sampled macaroni and cheese with truffles, wild boar pasta and kobe beef burger with pickled jalapenos. Drank many glasses of wine and champagne. Giggled a LOT.

Today: Cleaned closets, scrubbed trash cans, emptied pantry and cleaned the fridge. Ate Chick-Fil-A for dinner with my 2 anklebiters and we sang "Too Roo La Roo La Roo" like silly people until milk came out of their noses. Giggled a LOT.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Devil In The Details

Today is exhausting. Today is filled with millions of minute details that are not fun to do, but will keep me awake at night if I don't get them finished. Here is a snapshot of my day:

1. Raid the kids' playroom and launch an exhaustive debate with a 2 year old and a 4 year old about which toys are appropriate to donate to the women's shelter.

2. Fill a few garbage bags with toys that aren't fit to see the light of day and run bra-less to the curb to hand the bag of rejects to my bewildered garbage man. Lucky man will not have the chance to catch this sight again.

3. Load the car up with the negotiated booty, throw some clothes on the kids (and a bra on moi) and drag them along to the shelter in hopes of teaching them the joys of philanthropy.

4. Lesson is totally ruined because you have to drop off the stuff around the back of the shelter, and a man came out to unload everything. My four year old, with visions of philanthropic grandeur, hoped to "present" her toys to needy children and instead was forced to scream "Let ME help! I want to GIVE! LET ME GIVE!" while strapped to her carseat.

5. This made the man in charge of donations laugh.

6. Race home to shower and somewhat clean up the nuclear waste of a house before babysitter arrives.

7. Rush to pick up husband at work. Sneak in quick call to mother-in-law to thank her profusely for letting us stay (and hopefully not destroy) her lovely house.

8. Pick up a quick lunch at this local cafe that everybody and their brother went to today. Almost forced to eat outside in sweltering 96 degrees with 80 percent humidity before air conditioned table magically became available.

9. People at the next table shoot me quizzical looks when I start to cry grateful tears about not having to eat outside.

10. Finish fatty lunch while husband and I talk about how fat we are.

11. Go to bank to try and get deed to our house notarized.

12. Bank can't do it and sends us to Fed Ex place next door. Wait in line for an eternity.

13. Get notarized by someone who is so unpleasant and thick, I had to help her fill out the form.

14. Run hubby through drive-thru Starbucks so he can stay awake for the afternoon.

15. Drop hubby off at work, and run to Target to pick up toys for our upcoming roadtrip.

16. Spend just as much money on toys as it would cost to fly first class.

17. Call movers for the umpteenth time to make sure they will show up next week. (I'm paranoid like that).

18. Arrange for husband's car to be shipped- this takes no less than FIVE different phone calls, and 2 different types of shipping techniques for this to come to fruition. (My life is complicated like that).

19. Call escrow people to make sure we can sign our closing papers early. This is still unsure. DAMN! I thought I would sleep tonight....

19. Lose power due to a tremendous thunderstorm and watch a tree almost come down in the backyard. Sit inside, in 96 degree heat and now 100% humidity until air conditioning finally cranks back on.

Tomorrow will hopefully be a bit more fun. I promise to try and find something a bit more interesting to write about.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I wondered when this day would come. I dreaded it- and waited in morbid anticipation for the day when my easy going, flexible, loving, empathetic youngest daughter would begin to sow her two year old oats. I still haven't quite recovered from Annie's trip down the Terrible Twos and remember with absolute clarity a trip to Disneyland two years ago, when Annie laid down in front of Ariel's Grotto and kicked and screamed in anger. As the throngs of tourists passed us by with curious glances, I started yelling at her "Get Up! You will have fun! Do you hear me? YOU WILL HAVE FUN!"

One of my finer parenting moments. Remind me to submit that to Wondertime or something.

Anywhoo... about 2 hours ago, I witnessed Lucy hit her sister over the head with a wooden rolling pin. This was entirely unprovoked. Annie and I were busy unwrapping all of the broken crayons so we can bake them into monster crayon turds for a fun arts and crafts project.

When the wood came into contact with Annie's skull, I'm not sure who yelled louder. Annie was pretty loud, which is totally understandable, because rolling pins used as weapons can be pretty effective. But, somewhere in the recesses of my high school drama days, I conjured up a raucous angry voice that shook the rafters of our crappy rental house.

Lucy looked surprised- I truly believe her thwarted two year old sensibility was not expecting this outcome. She was just curious about what would happen if she throttled her sister over the head with a wooden rolling pin. Now, unfortunately for Annie, Lucy knows.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Baby Did A Bad, Bad Thing

One of the things I will miss the most about Houston is my Friday playgroup. And I'm saying this because I really mean it, and not because they recently found my blog- "Hi Girls!".

Yesterday's soiree was a little different- our weekly host had a medical emergency, so plans were changed at the last minute to give her some rest. The impromptu change in plans did not affect our anklebiters one bit- they still created a staggering mess, and got into loads of trouble. Totally routine, folks.

However, there is some combination of trouble at this particular location, that always leaves me into fits of giggles. During a recent dinner party, the adults were too busy enjoying their chicken fried steak and sangria to notice the little ones had gone dangerously silent. Those without children may be perplexed into why adults actually fear QUIET children, but those in the know understand that silence breeds trouble..... messy, naughty trouble. This evening's ruckus involved pilfered lipstick- applied all over their faces, bathroom towels and cabinets. Not pretty. Not even Lancome lipstick looks good on the forehead.

Yesterday, we clearly spelled out the rules for them--- no playing in the master bedroom, no pilfered makeup and no serious messes. The host was babysitting the preschool's pet turtles for the summer, and we reiterated that the kids shouldn't touch the turtles, or take them out of the cage. All kids nodded their heads in agreement, without us realizing they had their fingers crossed behind their Gymboree backs. After we got caught up in talking, we suddenly realized the house was bathed in the sounds of silence.

Making a mad dash down the hall, we enter the master bedroom, to see my Annie sitting next to the bed. "Annie, I told you not to play in here." I say firmly. Suddenly, we hear giggles under the bed.

"C'mon girls. Let's go." Annie says. "And don't forget the turtles."